Ding Dong & Mrs T. It’s simple: don’t buy it and don’t ban it

by Stephen Tall on April 12, 2013

ding dong ozAs journalists look to extend the reason to continue writing about Margaret Thatcher’s death, three quick points from me on the entirely bogus furore over whether the BBC should play Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead on Radio One…

1) Don’t buy the record
At least not in protest against Margaret Thatcher (if you just like ‘The Wizard of Oz’ please ignore). It doesn’t matter to me that it boosts Sony’s profits — though the anti-corporatist left might — but, seriously, is calling the first female prime minister a ‘witch’ the best those who disagree with her policies can do?

2) Don’t ban the record.
The irony of the right-wing media — the Mail, Telegraph and Guido Fawkes — urging the BBC to self-censor itself by refusing to play the song on its chart show would be remarkable if such inconsistency weren’t entirely unsurprising. Freedom extends only to the things they approve of, clearly. These are the same people who fear the ‘chill effect’ on journalism of a post-Leveson world, yet want which music the BBC plays to be subject to their whim.

3) Don’t make me agree with Nigel Farage. Please.
“If you suppress things then you make them popular, so play the bloody thing. If you ban it it will be number one for weeks.” Yep.

Let’s just let those who think it’s so outrageously lol-arious get on with it, remind them that childish sexism probably isn’t the best way to win an argument, and leave the BBC to play the music people have bought.

Update 1: Good on Nick…

Update 2: Meh from the BBC…

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.